Thieves steal Christmas bonus from Henrico repair shop - WNEM TV 5

Thieves steal Christmas bonus from Henrico repair shop

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A repair shop hopes you will help Henrico Police find the Grinches who stole their Christmas. The thieves took off with the gift cards that were supposed to be a Christmas bonus for Allen Tire employees.

Police say surveillance photos show the crooks buying items around Richmond.

The suspects got in through the window, and employees say they got out by breaking the door with the 1,500-pound safe.

Steve Fuller was the employee who called 911.

"Must have been three or four of them, and they just threw it through the door," he said.

Owner Gary Allen thinks the thieves were after inspection stickers but ended up stealing so much more.

"I said, 'Oh my goodness! We got all of our employees' gift cards in there that we give away for Christmas!'" he said.

Allen says the cards were worth about $8,000.

It's supposed to be a 'Thank You' to the hard working employees. Last year, Fuller bought his wife diamond earrings.

"It means a lot to all of the guys," he said. "Here they give it to you for just working and showing up and doing your job."

Surveillance photos show the crooks spending the gift cards at stores around Richmond.  Officers also released this description:

•Black male – Dark hooded sweatshirt, camouflage pants

•Black male – Light colored knit cap, white t-shirt with gray undershirt, gray pants

•Black male – Dark jacket, blue jeans

•Black Female – Pink hooded sweatshirt with a large design on the back, tan pants

Officers also believe they are driving a dark colored Chevy Impala or Malibu. Allen says American Express records reveal the spending spree started just two hours after the burglary.

Now, these employees have a message for the crooks stealing from hard-working people.

"Get a life, go out and get yourself a job," says Fuller.

Allen says he didn't want the employees' holidays to be ruined, so the shop has already spent extra money to replace those gift cards.

Investigators believe the crooks may have also hit the Merchant's Tire on Sturbridge Drive and another Allen Tire shop on Midlothian Turnpike that same night in November.

Henrico and Chesterfield Police are now working together to see if there are any similarities.

Anyone with information regarding this offense is asked to contact Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word "ITip" followed by your tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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